pandemonium banner

Melbourne International Film Festival 2021 Programme

‘Summer Of Soul (…or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)’
Our eclectic team of writers from around Australia – and a couple beyond – with decades of combined experience and interest in all fields.

A line-up of 283 international and Australian films make up this year’s 2021 Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF) programme.


There are 199 feature films, 84 shorts and 10 XR experiences, and a huge 40 world premieres, the most in the festival’s history.

MIFF 2021 will span Melbourne city, suburbs, regional Victoria, and online. Two overlapping programmes will encompass 18 action-packed days in August.

“This year, MIFF continues to evolve — to meet the moment, and to meet audiences where they are. What will not change is the extraordinary line-up of cinematic adventures, from home and afar, waiting for them,” MIFF Artistic Director Al Cossar says. “These are anticipated festival blockbusters, experimentations, breakthrough discoveries, and a huge line-up of incredible Australian talent. We will again share a world of cinema, reignited, to welcome Melburnians back to places far beyond the familiarities of the last year.”

Within MIFF’s Centrepiece Gala will be one of the year’s most anticipated films, ‘Summer Of Soul (…or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)’. The feature, from The Roots drummer Questlove, has already won the US Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at Sundance.

MIFF Play sees the premiere of ‘Language Lessons’ as part of the festival’s Closing Night, starring Mark Duplass and filmed over Zoom in 2020.

Direct from Cannes Film Festival comes the Australian premiere of ‘Annette’, the English-language debut from French film director Leos Carax.

‘Year Of The Everlasting Storm’ comprises seven shorts in a distillation of COVID-era filmmaking, featuring responses to life under lockdown from Jafar Panahi, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Laura Poitras, David Lowery, Anthony Chen, Dominga Sotomayor and Malik Vitthal.

‘Bergman Island’ from Mia Hansen-Love is another instalment in the director’s oeuvre of delicate, semi-autobiographical investigations into love.

Shocking dystopian thriller ‘New Order’ is the latest provocation from director Michael Franco, attacking prejudiced systems and abuses of power in Mexico City.

Annette MIFF21
'Annette'

Australian films are at the heart of this year’s programme. Bruce Lee’s martial arts classic gets an Indigenous twist in ‘Fist Of Fury Noongar Daa’, the first feature film ever to be fully dubbed in an Aboriginal Australian language.

‘Friends & Strangers’ is the feature debut of James Vaughan, Jennifer Peedom follows her 2017 MIFF hit ‘Mountain’ with a new cine-sonic journey along the world’s waterways in ‘River’, narrated by Willem Dafoe.

Based on the experiences of the legendary Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe, ‘Streamline’ follows a teenager fighting to stay afloat in the world of competitive swimming, from Tyson Wade Johnston and executive produced by Ian Thorpe himself.

Internationally, audiences can expect 27 films directly from Cannes and a programme of films including ‘Pig’, the feature debut from Michael Sarnoski, Scandi comedy ‘Riders Of Justice’, ‘Lamb’ starring Noomi Rapace, Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s ‘Drive My Car’, as well as a dedicated programme of Iranian films.

The MIFF 2021 documentary strand features local and international films, including an intimate portrait of the life and death of television presenter Anthony Bourdain, (‘Roadrunner’), a collaborative effort filmed by refugees from around the world (‘Those Left Waiting’), an achingly poetic meditation on life in the shadow of war (‘Notturno’) and a behind-the-scenes look at a beloved television show (‘Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street’).

The 2021 Ambassadors include Rose Byrne, Chris Pang, Fayssal Bazi, Leah Purcell, Uncle Jack Charles, Rob Connolly, Mirrah Foulkes and Justin Kurzel.

Check out the full programme here.

Melbourne International Film Festival runs from 5-15 August in cinemas and 14-22 August online.

Let's Socialise

Facebook pink circle    Instagram pink circle    YouTube pink circle    YouTube pink circle

 OG    NAT

Twitter pink circle    Twitter pink circle